Rural leadership skills for rural business success
Hi! My name is Aly Robins and I’m a new member of the Fergus County Farm Bureau. My parents have been involved in Lewis and Clark Farm Bureau for the last 20 years, and encouraged me to join my local Farm Bureau. My husband and I recently moved from Dillon, MT to Moore, MT as he got a job in the area. I grew up on a small ranch outside of Helena, MT and I have never wanted to get away from the lifestyle. After going to college and receiving my bachelor’s in Rangeland Management I worked for the NRCS for 3 years as a rangeland management specialist. However, I left the agency because I felt as if I had more potential in the agriculture industry. So, I started my own online marketing business to help agriculture business owners become visible online and increase their sales.
I was interested in the ACE program because it mentioned developing leadership and public speaking skills. It also talked about conflict management, and because many extreme environmentalists are targeting agriculture left and right, I felt these different types of trainings could help elevate my agriculture voice in a responsible way. I believe that in order to help others become the best person they can be, you have to do the same for yourself first. So, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for myself and I’m so glad I was able to join. Once I complete the ACE program, I hope to be able to help my local Farm Bureau amplify their agriculture voice. With my online marketing skills, and the skills I’m learning from ACE, it’s a great combination to help put a spotlight on agriculture. I would love to be able to empower other agriculture business owners to use their voice and stand proud for what they believe in.
A current issue I find saddening is the amount of misinformation involving agriculture, and how it’s starting to become our reputation. As agriculture advocates, it’s our responsibility and duty to show the world the facts, and tell them the truth. As the number of farms/ranches decline, so does the amount of people being directly exposed to the industry. Participating in ACE will help me effectively use my voice and inspire others to do the same. Everyone has a purpose, and I want to help bring theirs to life.
I plan to use the skills and techniques I’ve learned through ACE to be more involved in my community. Businesses and agriculture are the backbone of our rural communities and I want to help them succeed by improving their marketing strategies, and using advanced technology, aka, the internet. Being able to teach and explain things in a way that people can understand, while listening to what their needs are is so important. I hope to advance my listening, understanding, and communication skills within my community.
I believe that farmers and ranchers are just like every other business. Continuously learning and advancing your advocacy skills will keep our past, present and future alive. Being able to pass down our operations to the next generation successfully is going to enable us and our communities to thrive. If we stop learning, we stop advancing. If we stop advocating for agriculture, we lose. As we’ve witnessed from the pandemic, agriculture doesn’t stop.
Montana Farm Bureau’s ACE program is designed to empower Farm Bureau
members to be confident, effective leaders in their County Farm Bureau
and local communities. Advocacy follows leadership and with practiced,
ever-evolving leadership skills, participants will be prepared to
actively advocate on key industry issues. Learn more about the ACE program and how you can build your local leadership skills here.
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